PEPPERELL -- As the holiday season approaches, one Boy Scout is doing his best to give back, by helping out at the PACH Outreach food pantry office for his Eagle Scout project.
Max Barnaby, 17, is helping with improvements at PACH, including repairs to existing shelving units, building new furniture and creating an email list to help PACH publicize its events and needs.
Barnaby, who is a member of Troop 5 in Littleton, said that PACH fit his goal of finding a local organization that could use his help.
"I was originally thinking of doing more of a conservation-minded project, but my mom said she was going to donate food to PACH one day and I asked if I could go with her. It's not a big food pantry, so I felt like I could do a lot to help them," Barnaby said.
Barnaby and some volunteers, including relatives and friends in his troop, began by fixing existing shelving units at PACH, replacing missing shelves and raising the lower shelves to make them more easily accessible. He also donated a chair and built a desk with two folding leaves for use in the office.
"When I found PACH earlier this year, I went in and sat down with them and asked what they needed. They gave me a list and I narrowed it down to the things I thought I could be of help with," he said.
Barnaby also bought a used cabinet through Craigslist and repaired it for use at the PACH offices.
"It's probably much nicer than anything we could have built ourselves," he said.
Being able to do hands-on projects was part of the appeal of the PACH project, Barnaby said.
"I wanted to work with wood, and I wanted something that would require some helpers, because the Eagle Scout project is a lot about leadership. I wanted to be able to show that," he said.
The project has been in the works for about six months and is not yet complete, Barnaby said. Next steps include setting up the email list and promoting it through a combination food and email drive that Barnaby plans to hold at a local grocery store. People will be able to donate food and provide their email addresses for the list. He has not yet set a date for the drive.
He is also planning to hold a spaghetti dinner at his church in the coming months to cover the costs of the work he has done.
Barnaby said the project is an ideal way for him to help out an organization that he feels strongly about.
"I really thought there were some things I could do that could benefit them, that I could accomplish as a 17-year-old," Barnaby said.